10 Years Later: Our First Cover Family

In honor of our 10-year anniversary, we’re celebrating with the family from our original cover. In 2008, Lisa and Eric O’Rourke just had their beautiful baby boy, Oliver. He was only one month old when they attended our casting call in Baldwin Park for PLAYGROUND’s first cover family. We were looking for local modern parents to don the cover of our new and sophisticated magazine. They needed to have style and edge — the O’Rourke’s had both.

After 10 years, the magazine has gone through some changes, and so have the O’Rourke’s. Oliver is now 10 (just like us!), and they are a family of four, with the addition of their beautiful daughter Reese (7). Check them out in our fashion story. We also wanted to catch up with Lisa to see how life has been the last decade for this Orlando family.

Q: With a decade of parenting under your belt, what’s the one thing you would like to say to that young mother on the cover of the 2008 issue?
A: Well, obvi, it would be “STOP WORRYING so much! Your new little family is going to turn out just fine, even better than fine! Stop fretting, silly girl!” Isn’t that what we would ALL say?

Q: Do you and Eric take on traditional or non-traditional roles when it comes to your parenting styles?
A: Non-traditional 100 percent — anyone who knows us would agree Eric’s the nurturing parent, and I’m the tough-love parent in a lot of ways. It works for us. We make a creative, effective team when it comes to raising our kids because we don’t subscribe to gender roles and traditional parenting tactics. We laugh a lot — at ourselves, at each other, at our kids — we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and I think that’s the trick.

Q: How do you and Eric parent differently from your parents?
A: Literally in every way! I come from a staunch, immigrant, Latin Cuban-American family, and Eric experienced quite a bit of divorce growing up, so our goals are simply to stay married and open-minded. Neither of us had those two things growing up. We love our parents immensely and think they did an exceptional job raising us, but times are different now. This idea of “children should be seen and not heard” is outdated. Our children have just as much — if not more — to teach US as we have to teach THEM. As parents, we need to turn off autopilot and be more conscientious in our parenting. Engage! [Parenting] is not just a job; it’s also a gift.

Q: What’s your favorite part about raising your kids in The City Beautiful?
A: We love sharing the unconditional acceptance we now feel in Orlando “post-Pulse.” From that tragedy came this undeniable bond in our city. We don’t go into great detail with our young ones yet about the tragedy itself. At a high level, they understand that our city came to the rescue in droves when our own were under attack for just being who they were. Children inherently understand unconditional love, and that idea is fostered here in Orlando 1000 percent by the people we encounter, the places we go, the things we do … love is love! My second favorite thing to share with them is the abundant beauty at all the springs, namely Blue Springs (our fave!).

Q: What’s your favorite part of PLAYGROUND Magazine?
A: The camp guide saves me every summer — thank you! But my favorite resource is the activities listings … being Florida natives makes us a super outdoorsy family!

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